Free Software Foundation Europe is an international organisation. Our goal is to reach as many people as possible and include them in our activities to promote, help and support the Free Software movement. To achieve this, we want to make our published texts and website available in several languages.
A major part of translation effort applies to the web pages, especially the frequently updated pages like the front page, the news page and the events page. We have provided some special information to help you with web translation.
But not only web pages have to be translated: Press releases, newsletters, brochures and leaflets and other texts also become more wide-spread with every additional language they are available in.
As FSFE is active in many different countries, texts are also often written in different languages. However, we generally use English as a starting point for sharing these texts with other parts of the organisation and for further translations. Therefore, we especially need help to
- translate from other languages to English,
- proofreading English texts written by non-native English speakers, and
- translating from English to other languages.
Experience shows that the best translation results are achieved when people translate from a foreign language to their mother tongue. Having a good idea about what the FSFE is and about our concepts and values is a good idea before starting translating. To help you out with difficult words and phrases, we maintain a wordlist in over 15 languages that you can rely on when facing technical terminology or just standard ways of expressing oneself when speaking on behalf of FSFE.
Translations are generally coordinated on the translators mailing list, and everyone wanting to contribute to translations efforts can subscribe to this list. It is also a place to seek help when in doubt or cooperating with other translators on larger projects. As we have material available in over 30 languages already, the chance is that you will always find somebody in the organization willing to help you.
Texts to be translated or proofread are sent to this list along with a reference to the desired languages. Whoever starts with a translation sends an answer to the list to avoid duplicate work. Finished translations are also sent to the list to allow others to proofread the translation and propose possible improvements. Both original texts and translations are usually sent around as plain text file attachments to minimize copy and paste efforts.
Ideally, the translation team for a specific language has several members that relieve and support each other, so translations to a language would not depend on a single person.
Many of our translators are already active in other Free Software projects in addition to FSFE. Helping with translation efforts in the FSFE strengthens the Free Software community at large and gives people, no matter language or nationality, a chance of learning more about Free Software.
Translating and proofreading texts is a precious contribution to the work of the FSFE and an excellent chance to spontaneously take part in the activities of the FSFE without long-term obligations.